Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The Necchi Foot controller did not work.  I installed a new, after market, and generic foot  controller. (Oxford comma, corrected). It came with my South River parts.

I was sewing along happily but noticed a hum despite no pressure on the controller.  It sure sounded like a sewing machine motor hum.  I thought, perhaps, it might be the fluorescent (shoot I should have left fluorescent misspelled for someone I know)  lights.  I turned them off.  There are four in the sewing loft.

I still heard the hum.

I leaned way into the Necchi.  It most certainly was the motor.  Drat.  I unplugged it and picked up the foot controller.  It was hot.  Very hot. Extremely hot.  Too hot to handle.  Double drat.

I did not want to mess with fixing a foot controller.  I wanted to sew.  Triple Drat.

I found a Singer button foot controller, removed it's wires and took the "new" controller off of the Necchi. It had cooled by this time.

As soon as I looked at it I understood the problem.  The connection was not, well, disconnecting despite my removing my foot COMPLETELY from the controller each time I stopped sewing.  The dang thing is crap; poorly made.  I was unable to make any correction or adjustment.

The Singer foot controller works well.  It is a bit stiff.  Maybe I will fix that sometime but not now.  I want to sew. 

Monday, October 27, 2014


The world is now full of acronyms.  POTUS  SCOTUS  DH DD DS DGD  WTF LOL TTYL.  I have no idea if, in the quilting world, DNP is an accepted term.  I use it because I prefer typing DNP instead of Disappearing Nine Patch.  One could, I suppose, use D9P.  OBW is not a character from Star Wars.  It stands for One Block Wonder.

I finished a scrap DNP quilt top this weekend.  I need to sew on borders and then it will be ready to quilt.

Poor lighting clouds  this photo.  Here it is before I sewed it all together. I had a time figuring out the pattern.  I think it will be ok with a border and after it is quilted.  Clearly I had NO PLAN.  I merely wanted to use up some fabric.  I accomplished that.

Steven looked at the design wall.  He scrutinized and squinted and said:

"Your eye does try to find a pattern, doesn't it?"  I agreed.  That's the problem with using so many different fabrics with no real intent.  We will see how it "quilts out."

Once I finally finished stitching all of these blocks together to create the quilt top, I set it aside.  I was anxious to fuss with the OBW I started this summer.

I bought the fabric on line and discovered that what I thought was a 24 inch repeat was more like a 12 inch repeat.  I used the fabric anyway.  It was for a class at the Zoo.  OBWs require  a lot of cutting. It is a bit tedious.  The result should be more like a Kaleidoscope.  Because of the short repeat, I think mine was less "artistic."  Still, I persevered.  I grouped the hexagons by dominant color and set to work.  ( All of these hexagons fit into one, small plastic storage box.  There they sat for months.  Until yesterday. )

I started with the whitest blocks and worked outward.  More tweaking, but I think I almost have the design.  Just in time for Christmas.

I bought some fabric at Sauder's.  It has a bona fide 25 inch repeat.  I have plenty of that for a queen.  Oh my aching wrist. 
(Sorry that the photo is so small.  I lifted it from their website. )

Friday, October 24, 2014

Amish Country

 When ten hours and 500 miles separates friends, what makes sense?  Meet half way.  Andrea and I did just that when we met this past Saturday in Lancaster County, PA.

"Home" for us was the Walnut Inn Bed and Breakfast; Beth, our warm, wonderful, and soulful Innkeeper.  Guess what?  She sews.  It was absolutely NO PROBLEM for Andrea and me to pull out machines out Monday night and whip up four new pillows for her couch  Trust me.  It needed COLOR.

Tuesday we headed over to Intercourse for the true tourist trap: Kitchen Kettle Village.  From there we went to Weaver's Dry Goods in Denver.

"It's thirty minutes away," navigator Andrea advised.

"That's fine, what else are we going to do?"  said I as I waited for the glow plug on the TDI to turn off.

Monday we had decided  that Weaver's would be THE PLACE TO GO when we saw a yard stick in Hannah's Quilts, a GENUINE, AUTHENTIC Amish quilt shop.
It was definitely authentic.  "Hannah" greeted us cordially.  She was dressed in traditional Amish garb and the shop was part of the home.  There were other customers shopping but Hannah took the time to go through each of the hanging quilts and show us each one.  She explained that one woman quilts each quilt because the stitches would be different if many women worked on the same quilt.  While she was off tending to the other customers we investigated the work area.  It looked genuine and authentic (translation like my sewing space). Hannah outlines the design on the quilt and then the quilt goes off to the quilter.  Once completed, the quilt comes back to the shop for binding.  She had  a Juki Industrial machine in one corner, by the window.  I looked for the "tail" (electrical cord) but instead found hoses and compressor connections.  Hannah confirmed that the power source was, indeed, compressed air.

When we arrived at Weaver's... more authentic Amish.
 The store, though, wasn't much different from Walmart as far as I could tell. There was cheap Chinese stuff everywhere.   Andrea and I thought it might be different.  Sigh. We sure as heck didn't find the cool, authentic yardstick.  I was bummed.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Morning Moon


Once I  determined that the SuperNova's power plant is healthy, I decided to give the mechanical a look see.  It really is pretty clean.  This is a pleasant surprise.

I removed the hand wheel, following the directions I downloaded from, yup, you guessed it, the Necchi Yahoo group.

First I loosened the belt, but that you already knew about since I did it in a previous post.  Then  I removed the clutch knob from the hand wheel.

I removed one screw, but found that you don't have to remove the screws at all.  Just loosen them.  That way they won't drop to the floor, or worse, get lost.

Turn the knob left loosey and unscrew it all the way off.

The stop washer is integral to this piece.  See how the stop washer fits into a notch in the shaft?
This slipped right off along with a couple of washers.
The hand wheel itself slipped off next.  I have never seen a wick inside a hand wheel.  Ever.

Upon Andrea's advice, I removed the wick,
The oil wick channel wasn't awful, but it was dirty.

I soaked the wick in alcohol to clean it up. (This was not an original idea.  Andrea told me to do it). Once every thing was clean I reassembled the hand wheel.  Thank goodness I took photos, so that I could figure out where the washers went.

Note the position of the bobbin winder.  This is significant.  The belt is a generic, lug, belt.  While it is the correct diameter, the belt is too wide.  It rides above the belt channel in the hand wheel and interferes with the functioning of the bobbin winder.  I can't wind a bobbin.  Bummer. 
I think I will wander on over to Ed Lamoureux's blog and ask him about the belt. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

More Necchi Tales: Needle Plate

The circular needle plate fascinates me.  Unfortunately it looked as if it were broken.  The central stud is loose.  When the presser foot was down the needle plate would rise up opposite the foot.  I feared that a part was missing. 
According to the manual:

So I looked under the plate:

And I fixed it.

Maybe this machine will work out after all.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Necchi Tales

The folks over at Treadle On call electric machines, machines with tails.  The electric cord is the tail.  That piece of information vaguely relates to this post.  I didn't really work on the electrical of the Necchi today.  I did, however, take some photos to demonstrate why I was having so much trouble with the power cord that came with the Necchi (NPC)

These photos are demonstration only. 

When I took the NCP apart, the wires were lying in the channels so:

You can see the puncture marks from the NPC connectors.  The aftermarket power cord (APC) did not have piercing connectors.  Instead the wires were soldered to the connectors.  When the cord was placed in the channels and the top of the NPC was screwed back on, the pressure pierced the cord, making the connection.  Elegant.

Note that there is a break in the top cord, skipping #2 entirely. 

I erroneously thought that the wire in the middle should cross over.  It rather looked like that was how the APC cord was wired.  I spent two hours yesterday trying to re-solder theses connections using 18 SPT1 wire.  I did it, but I did it wrong and ended up no closer to the solution.  I also learned that I do not want to try to solder wire to copper connectors, ever again. TYVM.  (Now that I examine this photo of the APC, I see that it appears as if there is a wire wrapped around the top cord at the left end, essentially connecting those two wires to each other and the terminal connection.)
Instead, the cord should have been wired like this:

See how the top cord, coming from the right, connects to 2 and 3, then has a break before it connects to 1?    The bottom cord connects to all three all the way through. 

Thanks to the folks at the Necchi Yahoo group for the photos of the correct wiring.  If I understood current, connections and wiring I probably would have figured it out just by looking.  Or, if I had remembered how I wired the power cord and foot controller on the FW, I might have figured it out.  But I didn't . 

Better yet, if I had just called my dear friend, Andrea, she would have set me straight right away over the phone.  But I didn't think of any of those things.